I have to assure you, I am not the type who would complain at every small thing that goes wrong as I totally understand mistakes happen. Particularly if it’s a busy night. However, what I’m not amused by is what happened, on Friday night.
Friday night. An evening I had been planning for months as a surprise to my sister. It was all organised, a great restaurant with rave reviews which was almost fine dining but not too formal. I had spoken to two members of staff on the phone, one of whom promised me I could have any table I like and put as many birthday balloons as I wanted, another who told me I could only have the downstairs seating and that the other person I’d spoken to was clearly new and therefore knew nothing. I would have been prepared to not even mention that in this blog post had it be been for great customer service on the night, only you guessed it, it wasn’t.
We arrived to Nopi and I had called about ten minutes prior to say we were running a couple of minutes late which the lady I spoke to said that was fine, we actually came in at four minutes late and were told our table would be ready in five minutes. 40 minutes ticked on, and a frustrated friend of mine finally had had enough and complained to which she was told we would be seated in five minutes. A 9:15 reservation ended up seating us at approximately 10 -10:05pm. I have to say, if they had communicated that they had misjudged the situation and that they were running late, that would have atleast made this ok, but on the contrary, our first communication with the initial lady, ended in her arguing with her colleague, them telling us it would be five minutes and then only when we complained, telling us that we would need to wait a further five. Considering, I had to book months in advance and was told that cancellation was charged heftily per head, suffice to say I wasn’t amused.
We were finally seated, to what wasn’t the table I was hoping for but was fine none the less considering by now, we were all famished, and this was by far the latest dinner I’d ever had. Our orders came relatively quickly and some of which were delightful. The manager came over and apologised on the delay and was incredibly friendly which did infact help them score some brownie points, particularly as he seemed to understand the value of the customer experience.Kudos also to our waiter for the night, a guy who looked like side show bob from The Simpsons. He and his afro hair was awesome. The meal was a good experience though one I think we would have appreciated more had we ate at the time we were meant to.
Nopi is a restaurant by one of my biggest foodie inspirations, Yottam Ottolenghi. I have pretty much seen all his cookery shows, his books are on my wishlist with Amazon, and if I had been there a day earlier then we had gone, I would have maybe seen him?! However, for someone who holds his name on this and other restaurants, some of the staff could really do with a lesson in customer service, or the manager could train a couple of those on the phone to either not be so strict on timings if it means nothing, or be more transparent with us the heavily paying customer.
Overall, the experience was good as we had a brilliant time and most importantly my sister had a fantastic night out with the girls, which was the entire aim. *brownie points to the surprise organising team*
Check out tomorrow night where I will narrate the story of the Italian restaurant fail… in the meantime, do you have any restaurant horrors?